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What’s your non-negotiable food?

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In a recent chat with my Nashville friend and Fine Cooking equipment reviewer Nicki Wood, she talked about “recession nonnegotiables.” These are the food items you are willing to always pay full price for, even during troubling economic times like these. For her household, the list includes “seafood, canned clams, and roast peanuts because the non-premium version of each isn’t something to look forward to.”

Reviewing my household grocery purchases, I’ve found my non-negotiables are USDA Organic Certified chicken, sustainable seafood, organic greens and apples, and locally roasted coffee. I’d rather do without than settle for a cheaper/less good version of any of these.

I think we’ve all taken a second look at our grocery carts of late, wondering if we might be able to make due with the generic brand of cereal or a cheaper version of a lunchtime favorite. What about you? Are there foods that are non-negotiable, that you’d rather just do without than buy a less pricey version of?


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  • sanni | 12/30/2009

    Nice discussion. For me it's definetively meat and i couldn't do without beef. Luckily i'm more a rouladen-chili-goulash-type so i don't need the most expensive cuts but no meat can compare to the one from our fav two butchers.
    And i wouldn't save on winter veggies, though they are sometimes ridiculously expensive (a kg of parsnips is at 5€ this month). And good rolls and bread as i don't have time to bake myself at the moment.
    but my favorite yoghurt comes from the discounter and we now have good italian, spanish, asian and turkish market here where you can get excellent igredients for little money.
    plus i only buy local dairy, don't need milk from bavaria when we have great local dairies. and i've almost stopped eating fish last year because most varieties are so overfished (i can tell you- it's hard, im from the coast and i love fish) but my conscience feels better now.
    i'm eager to follow this thread, happy new year, sanni!

  • chickletttt | 07/18/2009

    It has to be organic vegetables and fruit. My husband is a neurologist who does research on Parkinson's disease. If you google the causes of Parkinson's all will site pesticides as a major contributing factor.

  • User avater
    dabneyg | 04/07/2009

    For me, it's organic whole-milk yogurt and "clean" meat (no hormones, antibiotics, etc).

    And high-quality booze. No matter how bad things get, cheap liquor isn't worth the sub-par taste (and the inevitable hangover).

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